| Tavita |
THIS weekend, as usual, it’s the official start for football watchers of another great year on the sofa.
We puff up the pillows, pray for rain to stay away, put a spot of extra chili into the noodles and drown ourselves in the greatest emotion known to sports -watching kind.
There are five biggies on tonight and tomorrow.
Each one offers a clear explanation as to why some of the greatest minds in football history thoroughly enjoy every first weekend in January.
They gaze down from above on the FA Cup third round. They examine the hopeful non-league teams and mutter some of their most celebrated comments.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Derby County vs Southport
Derby County are currently lying a powerful third in the Championship and hot contenders for automatic promotion back to the BPL.
Southport, by contrast, are 20th in the Conference League, hovering one above the relegation zone.
They’ve learned a lot from yesterday. They’ve always lived for today and they’ve always hoped for tomorrow.
That’s why they’ve changed their name at least half a dozen times since they started out as a rugby team called Southport Football Club.
After some heavy defeats, the club switched to association football and joined up with Southport Athletic Society who went bankrupt. Then they had five more changes of names and got into the FA 3rd Division North.
Then came 1978 when they ignored Einsteinian physics and were atomised out of the Football League.
“Maybe we should have changed our name,” supporters questioned and are currently living for today and determined to keep on questioning tomorrow. All very quantum.
That’s why Einstein likes them.
MARTIN LUTHER KING
“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
Dover Athletic vs Crystal Palace
Dover are lying in pretty finite midtable in the Conference League and are up against BPL relegation candidates Crystal Palace who have just shown finite disappointment in their manager and are about to place infinite hope in a new one for the next few weeks.
Dover has once before made it to the third round of the FA Cup in 1911 and ended up in finite disappointment. They appear to have accepted this and are infinitely hopeful that Crystal Palace are going through a de-finitely infinite collapse and ready to accept a distinctly finite disappointment.
MLK, meanwhile, looks down with infinite hope for them both.
“One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”
Stoke City vs Wrexham
The great Argentinian overlapping left wing poet and master of midfield Zen has long been a Wrexham fan and, hoping for another memory is about the only thing Wrexham lives on for these days.
Founded in 1863, they are the third oldest football team in the world and have two mighty memories to live on in their one hundred and fifty years of hoping.
The first was in 1984 when they beat Porto 10-0 in the Euro Cup Winners Cup. The other was in 1992 when they beat reigning English Champions Arsenal.
Today they are living on in their Welsh brother’s home of Stoke, hoping for another memory.
Antonio’s got his pen at the ready.
“Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man.”
West Bromwich Albion vs Gateshead
According to most of my local mates, Nietzsche won’t be looking down from above today. He’ll be roasting like fury down below and tuning in to the Underworld Channel.
He’ll likely to be watching Gateshead versus West Brom and thoroughly enjoying it.
Gateshead started hopefully in 1930 but went through all the torments of footballing man until 1960. Then they were thrown out of the Football League and had the torments prolonged until they were eventually liquidated in 1973. They got hopefully resurrected four years later and are still prolonging them.
West Brom are currently hoping a change of manager will help prolong their torment.
And Nietszche carries on roasting.
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Birmingham City vs Blyth Spartans
The Spartans once reached the 5th round of the FA Cup in 1978. Ever since then, they’ve been constantly desiring what they have not and are not at all happy with what they now have … 16th in the Northern Premier League.
This is not among the things they only hoped for when they were founded in 1899. Today, they are desiring to stuff up the Brummies.
And, stuff old Epicurus, they reckon … he was Athenian, after all.
And dead against all Spartans.